Today, my daily intention was to “let go of expectations.” I immediately started to think about how I have been really hard on Dave, my husband, lately. Something clicked when I wrote out this intention. I have been setting expectations for Dave and then I have been getting upset with him for not meeting them.
In case you are wondering, no – I have not shared these expectations with him. Is that fair? Well, umm, no it is not – BUT – here’s the “unrealistic thought” that goes through my head sometimes, “We’ve been together for over 20 years now, why hasn’t he figured out what I need, what I want, what MY expectations are.”
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound super-rational as I type this out. BUT it is what I have slipped back into doing. I want to blame it on COVID, BUT I can’t.
I feel like there are times I am great at letting go of expectations and surprisingly these are the times my husband and I get along really well – coincidence? Then there are times, like recently when I feel like we are “off.” Why am I doing this again? What is my problem? Oh yeah – I am human. I am not perfect! Right. Right. That is when I take a step back and remind myself that “being AWARE” is where I want to be. This is an opportunity for me to heal and peel off another layer surrounding expectations.
We all have times in our life when we feel like we have things “all figured out” and then something happens and we slip backward, sideways, diagonal. It’s okay. It’s all good. This is normal.
Here is what you can do when you find yourself slipping, repeating something that you “thought” you had all figured out.
1 – Congratulate yourself on being AWARE. It is the first step to getting unstuck, healing, and moving forward. This is when you realize what you have been doing. It could be setting unrealistic expectations, trying to be perfect, taking things personally, being hard on yourself or others, judging yourself or others, etc.
2 – Next, ACCEPT that you slipped back a bit and that you are human. Don’t try and justify it or blame it on someone or something else. All this will do is keep you stuck. When you can accept and acknowledge that you are human, you can remember you are learning, that you are okay, you are healing another layer.
3 – Now you can RELEASE the self-judgment, the thoughts that you could have or should have done things differently. Here you can also practice forgiving yourself. Forgiveness can be very powerful. It can help you soften and let go of the negative thoughts you have towards yourself and others. Let go of the need to have it all figured out.
4 – GRATITUDE. There are layers to healing and it takes time. Can you connect to and find the gratitude in your progress? In your awareness? In letting go of another layer that is opening you up to more healing, to more gratitude, to more peace. Simply thinking, writing, or talking about what you are grateful for can help shift your mood, your perception. It takes practice, be gentle with yourself.
Remember no one has it “all figured out.” We are all learning and doing our best.
“Peace begins when expectations end.” Sri Chinmoy